Local Content: Experts condemn FG foreign partnership moves on smart classroom
Computer Experts in the country has condemned the Federal Government (FG) partnership deal with the Chinese Group, NetDragon Websoft Holdings Limited on its establishment of digital education institute and provision of smart learning classrooms across the country.
According to them, the government has contradicted what they are clamouring for and therefore express worries over the lack of local content in the entire process.
Speaking with NewsDirect, the Registrar/ Secretary to the Council, Computer Professional of Nigeria (CPN), Mr Allwell C. Achumba (FNCS, MCPN) said Nigeria have the expertise and professionals that are capable of manning the initiative.
“Although the idea is good, but it is quite unfortunate that the move is against the promotion of local content.
“I don’t see anything new in having the e-learning classrooms that Nigerian IT practitioners can not handle.
“Our computer, IT professionals are good in terms of content and delivery. We have the capacity to do that here in this country.
“If it is the hardware we can import because we don’t manufacture them here but as far as content is concern, our IT experts can do better given the right environment”, Achumba told NewsDirect.
Another indigenous IT investors queried why the government’s IT watchdog, National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) could not enforce local content policy in the smart classroom deal with the Chinese firm.
According to them, it is only when government starts to take issues of local content serious in IT that the industry will get better.
They also argued that designing and managing smart classrooms can be handled by some good Nigerian IT firms who has shown capability and integrity.
In respect to reducing unemployment in Nigeria, Achumba posited that the unemployability ratio in Nigeria tends to increase as against FG promise.
On his part, he noted that there are a lot Nigerian IT Experts, yet FG is partnering with and patronising foreigners to do what the citizens can do.
However, the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Sustainable Development Goals and former Deputy Governor of Lagos State, Mrs. Adejoke Orelope-Adefulire had revealed in a statement that the Smart Classrooms and Digital Education initiative, will be implemented in partnership with the Chinese Digital Technology giant, NetDragon Websoft Holdings Limited is in line with the commitment of the government to continue to provide quality education to Nigerian children as stipulated in Goal 4 of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
The statement also noted that the scheme is also designed to facilitate investment in the ICT industry by building IT Incubators, Digital Studios and Software Outsourcing and Training Hubs, towards to the creation of new jobs in the area of Technology and Innovation.
“With the Initiative of Digital Education in Africa otherwise known as “IDEA” , our aim is to use technology to drive the realisation of the Sustainable Development Goals 4, 8 and 9 regarding Quality Education, Economic Growth as well as Industry & Innovation, thereby creating jobs through the E-Learning Platforms, Educational Software and Apps as well as other innovations. By 2030, we want to ensure all learners acquire knowledge and skills needed to promote sustainable development.” Orelope-Adefulire stated.